How to Spend a Perfect Week in Maui, Hawai'i
To me, Maui is truly paradise. The clear waters, the mountains, the great food and the amazing resorts make it a perfect destination for honeymooners, families, adventure travelers or those who are just wanting lazy days on the beach. Maui is a place that keeps you coming back for more. When I took my husband for the first time, he told me he couldn’t wait to come back. Now, we are excited to share this special place with our baby daughter. I hope that through this guide, you can also create special memories on the island.
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Where to stay in Maui, Hawai'i
Fairmont Kea Lani - Maui
An expansive Maui resort with an array of amenities, pools and beachfront access.
$100 food / beverage credit.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua
On Maui’s northwest shore, this sprawling resort encompasses six beaches, a championship golf course and hiking trails through its 22,000 acres.
Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
Daily American breakfast for two guests per bedroom
$100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit utilized during stay
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort And Spa
Upscale beachfront resort with seven restaurants and bars set in 40 acres of lush tropical gardens.
$100 hotel / resort credit.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
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Things to do in Maui, Hawai'i
Haleakala National Park
I recommend driving your rental car to the top of Haleakala to see the sunrise. There is absolutely nothing like seeing the sun rise above the clouds while you are at the top of the volcano. If you do this on your very first morning on the island, the early wake up won’t be as bad because of the time difference.
Drive the Road to Hana
I also recommend doing this on one of your first days because it will be another early morning. Driving the Road to Hana is what many people picture when they think of Hawai'i. You will see waterfalls, lush vegetation and you can even hike through a bamboo forest if you drive far enough. There are tours that will drive for you, but we thought it was not bad driving on our own and then you are able to stop whenever you like and have the best views to yourself.
Day Trip to Lanai
Lanai is a tiny island off of Maui. My husband and I did a sailing tour with Trilogy Excursions to the island and it was one of our favorite days of the trip. Lanai is famous for its clear water, making it excellent for snorkeling. We were able to sail to the island, snorkel and enjoy a BBQ lunch. This is also an excellent tour if you are traveling with kids. To end a perfectly magical day, on the boat trip back to Maui we saw a pod of dolphins!
Whale Watch Tour
Whale watching season is about November-May in Maui, although you will see the most whales between January and March. If you are traveling this time of year, there are many great, sustainable companies that will take you on a whale watching tour on the water. Although, if you are running out of days to fit in all of your activities, if you have an oceanview room, you may see some whales from your balcony!
It wouldn’t be a trip to Maui without spending some days at the beach. Ka’anapali Beach has been ranked among the best beaches in the world. It has a wide sandy stretch of beach and there is enough room that you will never feel too crowded. We also were able to see some turtles swimming in the ocean when we were here!
This is a great beach if you have kids, the calm waters make it a great place to swim and it has excellent water for snorkeling. It is also an amazing place to watch the famous Maui sunset!
Hike Kapalua Coastal Trail
This is a relatively easy 2.5 mile out and back hike along the beautiful coast of Kapalua. It is pretty popular so I recommend going in the morning (there also isn’t much shade), you will see gorgeous views of the coast and the water. This is also a popular hike with families because of its relative ease.
Kahekili Highway Drive
This drive is much closer to the resorts in Lahaina, but it will still feel like you have entered another world. There are many things to do along this drive: Hike to the Olivine Pools, see the Nakalele Blowhole and hike the Acid War Zone Trail.
Tip: I would NOT drive past the Olivine Pools Trailhead, the road gets extremely narrow and dangerous after this point.
While many people go to Maui looking to escape the hustle and bustle of towns, I would recommend spending at least one afternoon exploring the town of Lahaina.
Places to eat & drink in Maui, Hawai'i
Castaway Cafe- We loved eating here for breakfast a few mornings. I especially love the pineapple pancakes. If you’re lucky enough to get a table outside, you will be right on the ocean! Get there early to get the best seats!
The Gazebo- This is another popular spot for breakfast, famous for their macadamia nut pancakes. You will definitely need to get here early so you don’t have to wait too long. It is located near Napili Beach, so it would be perfect to grab breakfast here before a day of swimming and snorkeling at the beach.
Monkeypod Kitchen- There are two locations of this popular spot so no matter which side of the island you stay on, you will be close to one. This place has my favorite Mai Tai on Maui!
Duke’s Beach House- This is a very popular dinner spot so reservations are a must. The seafood is incredible, as are the views and the service. For dessert, don’t miss the famous Hula Pie!
Star Noodle- Another popular dinner spot where reservations are needed. Here you will find Asian shared plates and fabulous cocktails. The location is in Lahaina and they have a great patio with ocean views.
Joey’s Kitchen- Located in Whalers Village and Napili, this is a must for lunch or if you are wanting a take-out dinner option. We love to get dinner to go and eat on our balcony. Get the garlic chicken and thank me later. Out of all the restaurants on Maui, this remains my husband’s all time favorite.
Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread- If you make the drive to Hana, this stop is well worth it. It’s the perfect snack after a long day of driving. You will definitely want to buy more than one loaf.
Ululani’s Shave Ice- There are many locations for shave ice while you are in Hawai'i, this one is the best. They have multiple locations on Maui, so plan on going more than once to try a variety of different flavor combinations.
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Carol Johnston's guide, Must-Do in Hawai'i: Best Activities for Each Hawaiian Island.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Maui.